Department of Communication Awards


Ragan-Kramer-Wieder Dissertation Proposal Award

The Ragan-Kramer-Wieder Dissertation Proposal Award serves two purposes. First, it honors three long-time faculty members in the department. Two of the scholars have retired from the department, Sandy Ragan (1983 to 2006) and Larry Wieder (1977 to 2005). The third, Eric Kramer, has been a faculty member in the department since 1991. We have honored these three qualitative scholars by giving out this award since 1998. Second, it recognizes the accomplishment of one of our current graduate students for an outstanding qualitative dissertation proposal in the past year. Nominees submitted a copy of their approved dissertation proposals to a committee of the department’s current qualitative researchers who selected the most outstanding proposal without seeing the final dissertation.


H.W. Cummings Dissertation Proposal Award

The Cummings Dissertation Proposal Award serves two purposes. First, it honors Wayland Cummings who served the department from 1970 to 1994. We have honored Wayland by giving out this award since 2004. Second, the award recognizes the accomplishment of one of our current graduate students for an outstanding quantitative dissertation proposal in the past year. Nominees submitted a copy of their approved dissertation proposals to a committee of the department’s current quantitative researchers who selected the most outstanding proposal without seeing the final dissertation.


Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award is the most time-honored award in the department having been given out since 1978. Although the nature of the award changed over time, in recent years it has returned to its original purpose. Each year, this award recognizes two of the graduate teaching assistants who have excelled in teaching their classes during their time in the Department of Communication.


Ralph Cooley Graduate Student Award

The Ralph Cooley Graduate Student Award is also one of the oldest awards in the department. The award is named after Ralph Cooley, who was instrumental in the early development of the International and Intercultural Communication Division of NCA. He taught in the Department of Communication here from the time he earned his Ph.D. in 1972 until his unexpected death in 1982. The award, which has been given since 1991, recognizes outstanding students in the area of intercultural, international, cross-cultural, or Native American studies. The award recognizes two students, a graduate student and an undergraduate student, who excel in one of these areas.


Josh Lee Memorial Scholarship

The Josh Lee Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of former Oklahoma State Congressman and U. S. Senator Josh Lee who was associated with the University of Oklahoma from 1917-1934. After his death, his daughter, Mary Louise Symcox, endowed funds to support the Political Communication Center’s bi-annual Josh Lee Lecture Series and the public speaking contest for undergraduate students every semester. Since 2011, the Josh Lee Scholarship has been awarded to honor an outstanding Ph.D. student in the area of political or mass communication.


Ted Beaird Scholarship

Ted Beaird had a long association with the University of Oklahoma serving as the Executive Secretary of the University Alumni Association and Director of the Memorial Union Building from 1926-1950. He was instrumental in the organization of the Oklahoma High School Speech League and National Junior College Forensic Association. The original scholarship endowed in 1950 supported students from those two organizations who continued their education at the University of Oklahoma and majored in communication (or speech as it was known as then). When those organizations ceased to exist, the Ted Beaird Scholarship was re-commissioned to honor an outstanding graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in communication. The award has been given out since 2012.


Dan and Mary John O’Hair Outstanding Graduate Student

Dan O’Hair was a long time member of the Department of Communication from 1994 to 2009. He helped establish the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and served as department chair from 1994 to 2000. After taking a position as Dean at the University of Kentucky, he used some of his remaining grant funds to endow the Dan and Mary John O’Hair Outstanding Graduate Student. Since 2012, the award has honored a graduate student who exceled in all three area of teaching, research, and service.


Michael Pfau Scholarship

Michael Pfau was chair of the Department of Communication from 2001 to 2009. As a scholar, he was especially known for his research on inoculation theory using quantitative experimental designs. After his untimely death, friends and family members donated money to honor him. In 2012, his wife helped establish the Michael Pfau Scholarship to honor and support a graduate student whose teaching and research interests are associated with the social influence and interpersonal communication emphasis within the department. The scholarship has been given out since 2013.


Michael W. Kramer Scholarship

Michael Kramer became chair of the Department of Communication in 2010. As a scholar, he is known for his research on the socialization/assimilation process in groups and organizations. He uses a range of research methods to explore various topics including a recent focus on volunteers. He and his parents have created this scholarship to support a Ph.D. student whose teaching and research focuses on organizational or group communication. This is the first year of the scholarship





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